Effects of Mirror and Metronome Use on Spontaneous Dance Movements

Motor Control. 2020 Oct 29;25(1):75-88. doi: 10.1123/mc.2020-0012.


This study investigated effects of mirror and metronome use on spontaneous upper body movements by 10 preprofessional dancers in a motor task in which maximally diverse upper body movement patterns were targeted. Hand and trunk accelerations were digitally recorded utilizing accelerometers and analyzed using polar frequency distributions of the realized acceleration directions and sample entropy of the acceleration time. Acceleration directions were more variably used by the arms than by the torso, particularly so when participants monitored their performance via a mirror. Metronome use hardly affected the predictability of the acceleration time series. The findings underscore the intrinsic limitations that people experience when being asked to move randomly and reveal moderate effects of visual and acoustic constraints on doing so in dance.

Keywords: entropy; improvisation; variability.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dancing / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement / physiology*
  • Young Adult